A week after Myrtle Beach City Council passed a resolution opposing offshore drilling off the coast of South Carolina, North Myrtle Beach council members are poised to become the third Grand Strand community to take a stand against oil exploration.
North Myrtle Beach City Council on Monday will consider a resolution that points to the need to protect the area’s greatest asset – the beach – as a reason to oppose oil exploration.
Earlier this month, Atlantic Beach Town Council approved a similar resolution and Myrtle Beach City Council voted to oppose drilling last week. If North Myrtle Beach City Council approves the resolution, it would be the 19th government body in South Carolina to do so.
North Myrtle Beach City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 1018 Second Ave. N.
In April, North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley praised the mayors and administrators at a Coastal Alliance meeting for not rushing to oppose seismic testing before a deadline to provide input to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The Coastal Alliance is a group that represents Horry County and cities along the Grand Strand.
BOEM accepted comments on what should be included in environmental studies to decide whether areas in the Atlantic are opened to oil and gas development later this decade.
“It’s too soon to jump on the ‘no, not at all, we’re not interested’ wagon,” Hatley said in April, adding that she felt she needed more information before they could vote to support or oppose the testing.
Hatley could not be reached on Sunday.
Gov. Nikki Haley supports offshore drilling and is a member of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which has a mission statement that says it works to “influence a sensible path forward for the development of America’s offshore energy resources.”
Drilling proponents say it can help reduce dependence on foreign energy and create jobs and revenue.
Opponents of offshore drilling worry that spills could damage fisheries and the important coastal tourism industry. Supporters say drilling can be done safely and will mean jobs and new revenues.